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Cell Culture Antibiotic Selection Guide

Antibiotics are commonly used in cell culture to prevent contamination, maintain aseptic conditions, or select for cells containing genetic modifications. The use of antibiotics can minimize loss of cell lines and cell cultures, saving time and conserving precious resources. Proper antibiotic selection depends on both cell type and which contaminants you are trying to prevent. Selective antibiotics for generating stable cell lines or other recombinant cultures should be chosen based on the antibiotic resistance gene or selectable marker. The tables below can be used to guide antibiotic selection for your cell culture needs.

Antibiotics for Mammalian Cell Culture

† = Effective against most species
‡ = Effective against certain species

Antibiotics for Plant Cell Culture

† = Effective against most species
‡ = Effective against certain species

1Application Key: CC = Callus Culture; PR = plant regeneration; EC = cotyledon, hypocotyl, or leaf disc culture; TS = transformant
selection; SE = somatic embryogenesis; SSC = stem selection culture; PC = protoplast culture; TEC = tuber explant culture;
STM = shoot tip micropropagation

Antibiotic Selection Agents for Cell Culture